The World’s Well Heeled Pets

Oct 29, 2012  /  By: Barry D. Horowitz, Estate Planning Attorney  /  Category: Estate Planning

There are some good and bad things about human nature, but without question one of the best ones is the relationship that we have with our pets. Though people sometimes own exotic pets, dogs and cats are the most common four-legged family members, and they certainly bring us a lot of joy on many different levels.

Because you have so many serious matters to consider when you are planning your estate you may overlook the need to make provisions for your pet. In addition to the fact that it can get lost in the shuffle you may simply assume that you will outlive the animal, and you may in fact do so.

However there are no guarantees, so it is important to include your pet in your estate plan. One way of doing this is by creating a pet trust for the benefit of the animal, and there are a few pets out there who are in rarefied financial company.

One of these would be Pontiac, the actress Betty White’s golden retriever. Pontiac will want for nothing if he does outlive his owner because Betty White has created a $5 million trust to provide for his needs.

Not to be outdone, Oprah Winfrey’s canine clan is set to inherit some $30 million.

Clearly, many of us would find this to be a bit excessive. However, you have to provide for your pet within sensible limits, and exactly how to do so in a manner that works for you and your family is something to discuss with a licensed Hartford estate planning lawyer.

Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates, P.C. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.